Beyond ‘The War on Terror’: Prospects for the Middle East and North Africa

Joffé, George (2008) Beyond ‘The War on Terror’: Prospects for the Middle East and North Africa. Global Policy Institute Policy Report. pp. 2-15.


Today, as we approach the end of the second Bush administration, with a new administration in the offing next January, and as the ‘credit crunch’ further undermines what has been the world’s sole hyper-power for the past two decades, there is a general view that, somehow, the ‘War on Terror’ is also coming to an end and that a new dispensation will inform our policies towards the Middle East and North Africa. I am not convinced that this is so, at least in terms of the foreign policy platforms of the candidates for presidential office. Indeed, I even wonder if such a dispensation is possible or conceivable in the intellectual and policy planning environment that has been created since September 11, 2001, if not long before. And, even if it were possible, I wonder how the West – Europe and the United States – could meaningfully engage with the Arab World, Iran and Afghanistan in ways that would counter the negative and damaging initiatives undertaken as part of the ‘War on Terror’ over the last eight years. After all, to adopt new policies would mean understanding where the failures lie in the past and that, in part, depends on being able to articulate what they were

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